Taking on work beyond their capacity, tampering with audit files and preparing financial statements for companies they were supposed to audit are some of the contraventions uncovered during inspections of audit firms in 2018. The contraventions recorded by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) sheds light on how the audit failures that left the profession’s reputation in tatters stemmed from a long standing systemic risk. They are also a loud cry for more oversight in the industry. The recently released Irba report detailed the outcome of inspections carried out between April 1 2017 and March 31 2018. The regulator performed comprehensive quality control inspections on 11 firms. Four of the firms had “significant” systemic audit quality deficiencies and one had to be referred for investigation. Irba also inspected 188 individual audit files. The Auditing Profession Act prohibits Irba from naming and shaming the culprits or providing any additional information regardin...

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